The Danish Girl is a film that is undoubtedly made by, but also to some degree suffers because of, two excellent central performances. It is a good film, but when compared to the performances of Eddie Redmayne as Einar/Lily and Alicia Vikander as Gerda, it just cannot compete with those, and so will only go down in memory for those perfromances.
Following last year’s The Theory of Everything Redmayne gives yet another transformative performance. He is very good once again, but doesn’t come close to what he managed last year. And that is why I can’t see him succeeding in defending his Best Actor Oscar (although more about that in a separate Oscar’s post).
And that’s not to mention the fact that his co-star Alicia Vikander actually steals the show. She is the beating heart of the film, and if it wasn’t for her, I’m not sure how good the film would have been. I also think that she is extremely likely to win the Best Supporting Actress Oscar (although she certainly isn’t supporting).
The timing of the film has coincided well with some huge steps forward in the push for social equality for the transgender movement. We’ve seen films, such as Zoolander 2, criticised for its handling of trans characters, but The Danish Girl does a good job of this.
The film itself is actually a little slow, and doesn’t really stand out. The writing and story are fine, but it doesn’t really deliver the emotional punch it should. That is why I can only really consider The Danish Girl as a good film, but with some great performances.